Guide to the Great Barrier Reef
- Getting to the Great Barrier Reef
- Best time to visit
Take a dip in The Great Barrier Reef and see why most of the world has added this Australian destination to their bucket list.
Spanning over 2,300km (1,430mi) down Australia’s eastern coastline, The Great Barrier Reef offers an abundance of coastal experiences unlike anywhere else in the world. Swim amongst the stunning coral formations, giant clams, rare species of whales, and six of the world's seven marine turtle species. Not to mention the over 1,600 species of fish who call this aquatic wonderland home. Whether your style is scuba diving to the depths of the ocean or soaking up the sunshine on the soft sands on an island, see why The Great Barrier Reef is the perfect destination for your next getaway.
Access points to the Great Barrier Reef are scattered between the northernmost town of Cape York and the southernmost coastal town of Bundaberg.
The five most popular airports leading to the reef are:
- Cairns Airport (CNS) is located 5.5km (3.5mi) from Cairns; international and domestic arrivals.
- Townsville Airport (TSV) is located 5km (3mi) from Townsville; domestic arrivals.
- Proserpine Airport (PPP) is located 39km (24mi) from Airlie Beach; domestic arrivals.
- Bundaberg Regional Airport (BDB) is located 6km (3.7mi) from Bundaberg; domestic arrivals.
- Hamilton Island Airport (HTI) lands directly on Hamilton Island in Airlie Beach; domestic arrivals.
Each airport offers pre-booked transfers, taxis, and car or buggy hire options.
Given the size of the reef, you'll find differences in climate depending on where you go. Generally speaking, however, May to October is a great time to visit the reef as the water is still warm enough for a swim and the underwater visibility is at its best.
- High season: Winter (June to August)
- Low season: Summer (December to February)
- Don’t miss: Turtle hatching (January - March)
"The Great Barrier Reef is one of those places you must visit, whether you love the water or just want to see one of the great wonders of the world."